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ARMAC Marks International Day for Mine Awareness with “Rising Stronger: Building Resilience in Mine-Affected Regions”

Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 8, 2024 – The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC), a center of excellence under ASEAN political-security cooperation, is dedicated to addressing landmines and explosive remnants of war across ASEAN Member States. ARMAC celebrated the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action with the theme “Rising Stronger: Building Resilience in Mine-Affected Regions.”

This year’s theme symbolizes the collective commitment of the ASEAN Member States to confront the challenges posed by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) across the region and beyond.

The International Day for Mine Awareness is committed to showcasing ongoing efforts and progress in mine eradication and highlighting the critical importance of resilience in areas impacted by landmines. It serves as a symbol of hope and action, aligning closely with ARMAC’s mission, guided by the leadership of Executive Director, Ms. Rothna Buth.

Held between April 3rd to 6th, the event gathered a diverse group of participants from the mine action community, including organizations specializing in mine clearance, landmine survivors, policymakers, and public supporters of mine action initiatives.

The four-day event, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, boasted an extensive agenda of activities. Highlights included internal discussions facilitated by ARMAC, tours of the APOPO Visitor Center, participation in the International Day for Mine Awareness event hosted by CMAA, visits to minefields being cleared by HALO Trust, a tour of the CMAC Peace Museum, and a strategic reflection session led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Sister Denise Coghlan.

The event also featured appearances by H.E. Mr. Buakeo Phumvongsay, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Lao People's Democratic Republic to the Kingdom of Cambodia, and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC), and H.E. Dr. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister, First Vice President of CMAA and President of the Ottawa Convention 2024, representative of ASEAN members, representatives of Japan, Prince Foundation, among other esteemed guests.

ARMAC’s event underscored the critical need for awareness and action in mine-affected areas, striving to nurture a future that is stronger and more resilient through improved collaborative efforts.

Under Ms. Buth’s direction, the mission places a strong emphasis on inclusivity, gender equality, and the empowerment of women in the fields of humanitarian demining and explosive ordnance disposal.

Ms. Buth, Executive Director of ARMAC, stated, “In the face of adversity, we rise stronger together. Our dedication to mine action extends beyond clearing landmines; it is about cultivating resilient communities and creating a future untouched by the scars of conflict.”

Looking ahead, this event is poised to influence future mine action initiatives, fostering insights and strategic discussions among participants. It represents not merely a celebration but a critical juncture for ARMAC to push forward its objectives of ensuring safety, development, and resilience in mine-affected areas.

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